eBay finally acknowledged today that a seller promotion conducted last week in conjunction with WebInterpret had gone awry. eBay blamed a "technical error," and included its apologies in the subject line of the email sent to sellers: "Our apologies, you were auto-opted into the Webinterpret trial program."
The company offered no compensation for those sellers impacted by the mayhem that resulted from its error.
As we previously reported, eBay transferred seller listings to six of its international marketplaces without sellers' approval - a potentially costly problem since some offered free shipping that was meant only for domestic orders.
And because eBay/WebInterpret took each listing and duplicated it across multiple sites, some sellers showed thousands of extra listings and reached their selling limits as a result of the duplicate listings.
One reader who forwarded eBay's email today included a comment: "eBay sends this note just now, apologizing, but not saying we did this (to fool the investors). It's so clogged up now it takes 5 solid minutes for my relists to appear!!"
Another reader said he was unable to figure out what eBay had done exactly and which listings had been duplicated.
WebInterpret's Herbert Knibiehly responded to our inquiry about the promotion last week, but the company has not responded since. eBay did not respond to several inquiries.
You can find more information about the tremendous problems some sellers faced in this blog post
Here's the letter eBay sent to sellers today:
We want to inform you of a recent technical error that occurred when you clicked on a promotional banner advertisement in Seller Hub between May 1, 2018 and May 4, 2018.
The promotional offer is for a free trial of Webinterpret and zero fees on up to 3,000 listings on each of eBay’s six international sites. Our intention was to direct you to an informational sign-up page. Unfortunately, when you clicked on the banner, you were auto-opted into the promotion, and your ebay.com listings were automatically translated and listed on eligible international sites.
The promotion was offered to you to increase your listings’ visibility and grow your international sales. Webinterpret automatically translates, converts currency, and lists your ebay.com listings on eBay’s international sites where you had already enabled shipping. You may in fact have already seen an increase in your international sales.
If you do not want your ebay.com listings on eBay’s international sites as part of this promotion, you can remove them by opting out. To opt out, click here and fill out the form on the page.
If you do not opt out, Webinterpret will continue to post your listings on eligible international sites during the promotional period and your Webinterpret trial will automatically end at the end of the promotional period, at no cost to you.
If you continue with this promotion:
- You will not be charged fees during the promotion period (no insertion fees or final value fees on eligible international sites, and no cost for Webinterpret).
- Your items will remain listed on eBay’s international sites based on the shipping destinations and return policies you had already enabled in your ebay.com listings.
- Webinterpret will remove all of the listings that were created during the promotional period, on or before July 1, 2018. No action is required from you.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Thank you for selling on eBay.